Kelpie v Collie (1) Sheepdog Training Comparison

Border Collie or Kelpie which is best?

Kelpie, Collie sheepdog training comparison between Kelpie Red and Border Collie Mossie (not be taken as a definitive guide).

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Working Kelpie sheepdogs are now in common use throughout the UK. There’s much healthy debate over which makes the best sheepdog. To find out for ourselves, we train a young Kelpie along with a Border Collie.

Before we could start our informal (and somewhat haphazard) Kelpie, Collie sheepdog training comparison, we looked for a Kelpie puppy with a similar high work drive to our home bred Border Collie pup, Mossie.

Please note!

This blog records my personal experiences of training an Australian Kelpie, alongside a Border Collie. It includes the highs and lows of my emotions, and should NOT be seen as either an endorsement, or a condemnation of Kelpie sheepdogs.

Properly trained, Kelpies make very good sheep or cattle dogs. Which is more suitable for herding sheep, is a matter of opinion.

Close-up photo of Kelpie Red ready for training as a herding dog
We couldn’t help liking Red. He was a great character!

Kelpie Red’s character

We chose Red for our Kelpie, Collie sheepdog training comparison. He’s from excellent working parents. Red was born on a farm in Brecon (South Wales, UK) in mid April 2010.

Both his parents worked daily on the farm. One of ten puppies, Red was the last to leave the farm after being kept back as a replacement sheepdog.

Red had high drive. He travelled home perfectly during the 100 minute journey, sleeping most of the time. When he arrived, he was cautious but still playful and with a healthy appetite.

When introduced to the other (17) dogs, Red was keen to play but a little worried when another dog rushed towards him. He learned to climb onto the picnic table and use it as a safe refuge.

Red makes his feelings known!

When the dogs were put away for the night, Red was not happy. He barked constantly, knocked his feed and water bowls over and attempted to climb over the retaining mesh in his pen.

Eventually the din stopped, so we went to check that he was OK before leaving him for the night. As soon as his pen door opened a tiny bit, Red tried repeatedly to barge out and became noisy again. He was obviously perfectly alright (if a little upset) so we left him overnight. There was some barking for a while, but Red soon settled down and we were surprised to be able to enjoy a peaceful first night.


Red is nice dog, we like him. He’s very determined to get his way, especially when it comes to sheep but he seems to be settling in well. Bear in mind though, that Red is around three months younger than Mossie. This is bound to reflect in their training

Close-up photo of Mossie as a Border Collie puppy

Border Collie Mossie’s character

Mossie was born on the 29th January 2010 here at Kings Green Farm. Her parents are our own working sheepdogs, Jill and Eli – two of our favourite dogs with wonderful temperaments and a tremendous work drive. Eli in particular is extremely kind to other dogs and puppies.

Mossie’s a survivor of a dreadful accident. For some reason, her mother (Jill) loved to carry heavy objects around, so with safety in mind, when her last litter was born we put a very heavy concrete water bowl in her pen. Lactating bitches need plenty of clean water but unfortunately, the bowl wasn’t heavy enough. The day after the puppies were born, Jill somehow carried the bowl into the bedding area and dropped it on her puppies.

Only two of the eight pups survived. One was promised to a conservationist in the south of England. The other was Mossie.

Mossie’s parents Jill and Eli, are all there when it comes to being tough. Eli’s only a youngster himself but he’s been hard to train because of his determination. Even from a young puppy, Eli would get in amongst the sheep at the slightest opportunity. Now, he’s developing into a superb sheepdog.

From the day she started to crawl around, Mossie convinced us she was not just your ordinary pup. Very tough in all respects but likeable and eager to please. She’s always determined to be where the action is.


Mossie’s a lovely pup. We’re very fond of her. Despite being strong willed and quite often noisy (like her dad) she’s a quick learner and should make an excellent, powerful sheepdog.

We’re very much looking forward to seeing how our Kelpie-Collie sheepdog training comparison develops over the coming months – don’t take it too seriously!

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